week one

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know that Taylor has presented her share of challenges to her parental units at daycare/preschool and at bedtime.  But this week, she is like a new kid (new, but still retaining her funny sweet smart independent self).

Today, we have a hurricane strolling by, which led to a tree falling outside of our neighborhood and taking out a power line and our power.  So we did what every reasonable family would do – went to McAlister’s for a snack in the “tropical storm warning” weather.  While we were there, I cut Taylor’s brownie in half so she wouldn’t have too much sugar.  Russ got the other half and was going to give me half of that, but then Taylor broke her half in half and insisted on sharing with me.  We tried to convince her it was ok, and that she could eat her whole half, but she could not be convinced.  Russ stroked her hair and said, “How did you get to be so sweet and good at sharing?”  to which she replied “I’m in the 4s now”  To which Russ reflected, “I’m almost crying because of how proud I am of you”  Me, too.

It’s just hard to think back and remember the challenges, the tears, the yelling, the bargaining, the treats.  It wasn’t that long ago, but it feels like a different life…to be the parent that gets the bad news day after day of behavior problems….to be the parents who stripped their kid’s room of EVERYTHING but the mattress and bedding.  As I type (at 7:00pm), Taylor is quiet and still in her bed with her eyes closed without so much as a peep since Russ read her books.  The 7th night in a row of perfect bedtimes.  We told her how awesome she was doing at bedtime a few days ago, to which she replied “That’s because I’m in the 4s now”.  She’s earned back all of her furniture, and is so excited.

If that wasn’t awesome enough, this is what I found in her folder after her first week of school:

If you can’t read the writing in the boxes, there is a list of behaviors that need improvement…then the last box (where the smiley face is) says, “Great Behavior!”

(yellow stamps mean that she kept her “smiley face” all day everyday this week)

I’m just giddy – verklempt even.  She’s just awesome.  I have no delusions that it will stay this way forever or that she’s perfect now, but she has come so far and has matured into such a kind, strong little lady.  My cup overflows.

And just for fun, another jewel from school:

Her self-portrait –   eyes: blue (yes!), lips: pink (yes!), shirt:  purple (yes!), hair: short and brown (half right), skin: gray? (HA!)

worst.night.ever.

I feel like I should just rename the blog PARENTFAIL.COM.  What do you think?

Friday morning I did laundry and packed the car, then picked up the kids from daycare early so they would nap in the car on the way to Kathryn’s house – I had everything planned out just right.  I knew Taylor would have a good day at school, which would mean she would get a sticker on her chart, which would fill it up, which would mean a prize, which I would choose, which was the movie Tangled, which would be her reward to watch in the car after she took her nap.  Both kids would easily fall asleep in the car and Russ and I would have two hours of blissful quiet time in the car.  Great plan, right?

Caleb did as he was told, but Taylor refused to sleep.  Which meant that when we got to Russ’ 97 year-old Aunt Rebecca’s apartment on the way, she was crazy.  Bouncing off the walls. Luckily we made it out before she broke anything or Caleb ate some of Aunt Rebecca’s medication, despite his many attempts to get into her stuff.

Then we went to dinner.  Why we decided to go out in public, I do not know.  Taylor dropped a piece of ice on the floor, then picked it up and ate it.  Then she kept freaking out because her cheeseburger wouldn’t stay together after she put salad on it (salad AKA lettuce and tomato).

We finally get to Kathyrn’s house in time for the bedtime routine.  Kathryn had a great idea that Taylor and Ryleigh could sleep in the same room since Ryleigh ALWAYS goes to sleep easily and Taylor didn’t have a nap, so should fall asleep quickly.  Great idea, right? Notsomuch. Both girls were too wound up and excited that they wouldn’t settle down.  So then we moved Taylor’s air mattress into another bedroom and hoped she would fall asleep.

In the meantime, I was trying to set up Caleb’s pack-and-play.  But one of the sides was broken.  After many attempts to fix it, we decided we didn’t have any other options and put him in anyway since with the three sides locked, it was sturdy enough, right?  But he was too wound up from the road trip excitement and wouldn’t settle down.

Finally after much negotiating, rocking, singing, begging, pleading, praying…all of the kids were asleep by 8:30 pm.  Success!  Miracle!  If I’d known what the night would hold, I would have gone to sleep right then.

We decided Taylor would sleep better in our room with the noise maker going and so we would be there when she woke up in a strange place.  So we moved her and her bed into our room without waking her up.  Success!

Then I started reading tweets and status updates about all of the crazy tornadoes….then it got really windy and rainy  outside and Caleb kept coughing, so I couldn’t sleep – worried that Caleb’s coughing would wake Taylor up and that a tornado would kill all of us (meanwhile Russ is sleeping soundly – I hated him a little – I think at one point I even elbowed him out of frustration, but he slept through that as well – and I hated him more).  Finally all noises ceased around 1:00am.

SLLLLEEEEEPPPPP

Then at 4:00 am (FOUR O’CLOCK AAAAMMMM), Taylor woke up and stood in the corner of the room (?!).  Usually if she wakes up that early she’ll got right back to sleep, but not that night/morning.  She kept rolling around and sniffing repeatedly even though she had dispersed all boogies several times.  Then at 5:00 am, she finally woke Caleb up.  He cried.  a lot.  We were trying to keep both of them quiet since there were 5 other people still sleeping in the house (because it was FIVE O’CLOCK AAAAMMMM on a Saturday), but Caleb would not stop crying without a bottle.  So I went downstairs to retrieve a bottle, not realizing that my brother-in-law’s brother was asleep on the couch.  On the way to the kitchen, I kicked two or three things in the floor just to make sure to make as much noise as possible.  Then I got upstairs with the bottle only to realize that I forgot his reflux medicine.  So I had to go back downstairs to get it, knocking over a picture frame on my way causing a really good ruckus just in case he was still asleep.

By the time we got Caleb settled down, Taylor was jumping up and down on her bed, screaming, and laughing an evil laugh.  So we were all awake with no hope of going back to sleep.  In an effort to contain the madness, we stayed in the room for a while, but once two more people were awake in the house, we decided to venture downstairs to play in the playroom before someone in our room met an unfortunate end.

Taylor ended up in time out on the front porch by herself.*

Then Caleb  put a bee in his mouth.**

So the moral of the story is we should never leave our house. ever. again.

*I could see her the whole time and it was only a little cold, I’m not THAT bad of a mother. yet.

**We’re 95% sure it was dead before he tried to eat it.

Morning Fail

I had caffeine at dinner last night and didn’t go to sleep until after 11:00 pm.  This proved to be a very bad decision.

12:30 am – Baby B wakes up and cries for 15 minutes before going back to sleep

1:00 am – Piglet walks into our room saying that her pants are wet.  So is her bed.  I rig the bed so that I don’t have to completely take everything off in the middle of the night, but that Piglet can sleep in a dry bed.

1:25 am – crawl back in bed

1:27 am – Baby B wakes up, ready to eat.  Whine.  Feed baby.

1:40 am – crawl back in bed

4:30 am – Baby B wakes up crying again (I think my dinner caffeine is having a bad effect on both of us)

4:40 am – Russ gets up and starts getting ready for the day.  We are not a fan of his current rotation.

4:45 am – Piglet walks in the room saying that her brother woke her up.

4:50 am – get Baby B back to sleep.  Try to get Piglet back to sleep.

5:00 am – get in bed with Piglet, hoping to get her to fall back asleep.

5:30 am – Hear Russ’ car pull out of the driveway…I am alone with the madness.

6:00 am – Piglet still awake.  Leave and lock her door.  Call Russ to cry.

6:05 am – Baby B wakes up.  Won’t stop crying even when I’m holding him.

6:10 am – Total break-down.

6:30 am – Finally give in and feed Baby B.

6:45 am – Shower.

7:05 am – Let Piglet out of her room.  She never went back to sleep.  Try to be positive.  Give her eye drops and Zantac. (the first involves wrestling moves)

7:08 am – Put throw-up clothes and towels from incident occurring before bedtime last night in the dryer.  Put sheets, quilt, blanket, pjs, and mattress pad in washer.

7:10 am – Eat a surprisingly pleasant breakfast with Piglet.  Give her antibiotic.

7:25 am – Notice Baby B smells funny. Change diaper.  Get him dressed.

7:30 am – Potty, brush teeth, get dressed, do cute pigtails with two purple bows.  She may be exhausted, but she’s cute.  Maybe her teacher will be overwhelmed by the cuteness and overlook the grumpiness that will most likely be a part of the morning.

7:45 am – Notice that Baby B smells funny again and that his shirt is soaked.  Change his clothes again.

7:55 am – Get Piglet to get her shoes on.

8:00 am – Think we are actually leaving the house on time.  Notice Baby B has spit up again.  Decide to not care.

8:10 am – Everyone is buckled in and ready to go.  Realize you forgot to pack a lunch.  Decide to not care.

8:15 am – Drop Piglet off at school.  After being home for two days, she clings, and says, “Mommy, can you hold me?”

8:20 am – Back in the car and head to work.

8:25 am – Settle in the office and try to catch up on work not done over the past two days whilst home with sick child.  SO TIRED.

8:35 am – Realize it is the day of the Presbyterian Women’s meeting.  Mood turns around.  Morning is productive.

10:15 am – Go to PW meeting.  Other people hold Baby B to give my arms a break.  I even got enough snacks to count as lunch.  Awesome.  I love my job.

refresh

You want to know what’s sad?  I slept solid from 8:50 pm – 2:30 am last night, and that was the best sleep I’ve had since I got pregnant with Baby B.  It was only five hours, but is was a consecutive five hours.  My problem lately is that I fall asleep really easily and early, but the slightest noise wakes me up and then I can’t go back to sleep….the wind, someone crying, someone rolling over, Russ getting in bed, the air coming on, etc.  It doesn’t take much.

And it was sorely needed because the night before I got MAYBE two hours of sleep (and that’s being optimistic).  Piglet has a cold, and whenever she has a cold, she gets a nasty cough, and whenever she gets a cough, she coughs a lot, and when she coughs a lot, she throws up.  It’s really fun.  So last night when we first put her to bed, she kept coughing and needing honey or water.  I knew that once  she settled down, she would stop coughing, but as long as she is awake and thinking about it, she coughs, she breathes heavily, she coughs, she tries to breathe through her stuffy nose and she coughs.  So I decided to just to lay down with her until she fell asleep because she was having  such a rough time settling down.  But I got in bed with her and the hum of the humidifier lulled me  into a deep sleep – I’m pretty sure I fell asleep before she did.  The hum of the humidifier drowned out all other noises; I don’t think I moved a muscle until 2:30.  It was lovely.

Today I felt so much better than I have…I even felt like I had a little pep in my step.  Hard to believe that five consecutive hours of sleep can make that big of a difference.

Here’s hoping for a repeat tonight!

creative mind

Dreams

It still amazes me sometimes how much Piglet talks and how well.  She really is just a little person and we can carry on full conversations.  Lately, she’s been having very vivid dreams, which makes for very interesting breakfast conversation about dogs sneaking into her room and geese poking her in the back, not to mention the countless scenarios that occur with her school friends in her dreams.

This also means nightmares.  She has woken up several times from nap at school crying frantically.  She would tell her teacher that something hurt (her nose or hand).  Then one day she woke up scared because a dog bit her arm and saying that her arm hurt.   So we figured that all of these wakings and pain were attributed to bad dreams and not actual injuries.  But still scary for a little girl trying to figure out the difference between reality and dream.  (Shoot – it’s hard for me to go back to sleep sometimes after a disturbing dream because it seems so real).

But yesterday’s story takes the cake.   Russ picked her up and had told me that she woke up early from her nap crying again and had to be consoled by the teacher.  So I tried to talk to her about it:

Me:  Did you have a scary dream during your nap today?

Piglet:  Uh-huh

Me:  What was scary?

Piglet:  A monster

Me:  What did the monster look like?  What color was it?

Piglet:  Black

Me:  Was it big or small?

Piglet:  Small

Me:  What was the monster doing?

Piglet:  Snoring

At this point Russ realized what was happening – there is a sweet little black girl who sleeps next to Piglet, who apparently snores.  And that snoring made it into her dream as a “little black monster” and woke her up.  Russ and I couldn’t stop laughing.

__________________________________________________________

Conversations with Brother

Yesterday afternoon, Piglet was looking at my belly and saying, “Mommy, you have a big belly” (I get it from everyone).

Then she picked up Russ’ phone and began one of her pretend conversations.  Usually, she calls Papa and Mimi.  But yesterday, the conversation went like this:

Hey baby brother.  You in mommy’s belly?  You need to come out so we can play with daddy.

truth

I am thankful that Piglet doesn’t know about lying yet.

We got the good night light to try to keep Piglet in bed until a reasonable hour in the mornings.  It’s a night light that has a slight blue moon glow at night, and then turns into a yellow sun at the time you set it for in the morning.  It was working beautifully for a while, but lately she’s been waking up early anyway.  It is currently set to turn on at 5:40.  At 5:38 this morning, I hear “I broke it, I broke it” being cried from Piglet’s room.  I go in to find that she has unplugged it so that it turned off.  She was very upset and certainly accepting the blame.

I’m also thankful that she doesn’t lie yet because it’s hard to believe her even when she tells the truth.

Last Friday, we were at dinner with Grammy and talking about her Valentine’s Party at school that day.  Grammy asked her what she ate and she answered “cupcakes” and then Grammy asked what color they were and she answered “blue”.  We said no they weren’t blue because  it was Valentine’s Day – weren’t they red or pink or white…I had even seen cupcakes on the counter when I dropped her off that were traditional Valentine’s colors.   We didn’t believe her.  Then Friday night, I was getting ready to wash her clothes when I pulled the shirt she had worn to school out of her bag – it had blue on the sleeves.  Hmm…..  Then Tuesday afternoon when I picked her up from school there were pictures on the wall from their party.  Sho’nuf – there was the proof that she was eating a blue cupcake at the Valentine’s Party.

This morning, she was sitting at the table eating her breakfast and said that her feet were cold and she wanted her socks.  Russ asked her where they were, and she said “on the coasters”  Russ’ first reaction was “no, why would they be on the coaster”  but sho’huf – he turned around and there was an Elmo sock on each coaster.

I think as parents we are going to have to get better about telling lies apart from truth.

morning mayhem

Monday – 6:55 am

Scene:  I am in the bathroom getting ready.  Russ is still sleeping.  Piglet is watching Curious George (or so we thought).

I hear serious crying through the bathroom door and open it to find Russ catapulting out of bed (still half asleep I’m sure) and running into the living room to see what’s wrong.  I close the door again figuring he’s got it covered.  Then I hear a loud thud and a groan on top of the serious two year-old crying.  Then I decide it’s time for me to take action.   I run to Piglet’s room where she has on mismatched pjs (neither the top or bottom were the ones she was wearing when I got in the shower) except that she is stuck in the shirt and can’t get her arms out and she is crying that her finger hurt (she apparently closed it in the drawer while stuck in the shirt).   I get her shirt fixed and kiss her finger and then find Russ who was still wandering around looking for Piglet (still half asleep and now limping).  I seriously just laughed out loud as I typed this story. I then worry that Piglet had changed clothes because she had thrown up AGAIN (Sunday was not a good day), so I start looking for the original pjs.  I can’t find them in the usual places, so I ask her where she put them, and she very matter of factly (with a side of “duh”) said “in the washing machine”.  Sure enough they were IN the washing machine.  Impressive.  But they were not dirty, I am not sure why she got the urge to change at that moment.

Wednesday – 5: 40 am

After a restless night of having to get up and potty and bad dreams, Piglet starts crying so I go into her room to get her up.  She asks for another pull-up, but I try to convince her that she can wear her Dora panties, so she doesn’t need another pull-up.  MELT DOWN.  I finally get her pull-up off and panties on.  But then, as I get her pants half way on, she screams, “NO MY DO DIT BY MYSELF” and starts thrashing about.  So she takes off her pants and then tries to start over by herself, only when she pulled them off they turned inside out.  So I let her struggle with it by herself until she looks at me with eyes full of tears and says, “Mommy, help please”.  So I fix her pants and she gets dressed.

5:50 am

We head into the kitchen to fix her morning cup of juice.  I pick out her pink cup and get it ready.  MELT DOWN.  “No, I want the blue one”  I refuse to give in and let her have a tantrum that lasted five minutes.  I put her juice where she can reach it and go back to the couch.  After five minutes, she comes and sits in my lap – still crying, but a little calmer and easier to understand

  • Piglet:  I want the blue cup.  It matches my pajamas, the shirt and the pants
  • Me:  Well, the pink cup matches your pink socks, don’t you want the pink cup?
  • Piglet: Uh-huh

Then she gets down, gets her pink cup, snuggles back in my lap, and we watch the last two minutes of Sesame Street.

I must say that this week, I have not been sad when I drop her off at school.   I am STRESSED OUT and AT MY WITS END before I even get to work.